NSR: Satellite M2M/IoT continues on growth trajectory despite COVID-19

NSR’s M2M and IoT via Satellite, 11th Edition (M2M11) report, published today, forecasts $12.4 billion in revenues to be generated over the next 10 years. Although some M2M and IoT applications will be negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the short term, long term prospects look solid; given the overall value proposition and mission-critical features M2M/IoT services provide.

The future growth story, and game change, rests with Smallsats, taking the industry from steady single-digit growth to highly robust CAGRs. Lower price points will unleash unaddressed use cases. Higher volumes will likewise lead to higher ARPUs, changing the overall demand dynamics of numerous verticals. “That is not to say that MSS and VSAT offerings will lose their competitive edge or role in the marketplace. On the contrary, these longstanding platforms will continue to play an enduring role in the M2M/IoT growth story,” states Alan Crisp, NSR Senior Analyst and report lead author.

In terms of key growth verticals to watch out for, Agriculture and Construction will witness the strongest increases. The more traditional vertical segments, notably Transportation & Cargo, along with Energy and Maritime, provide a solid revenue base. All verticals have specific requirements, and there is no clear line in the sand relegating one platform as the best fit for particular vertical over another. “The technology mix is evolving where the interplay between MSS, VSATs, and Smallsats lead to a competitive landscape where coopetition could lead to higher penetration of all platforms as customers are given a diverse toolkit to service various requirements,” adds Crisp.

Not everything is rosy, however. Apart from the challenges posed by COVID-19, funding for Smallsat programs, maturing regional or country markets, regulatory challenges, and other macroeconomic factors can all inhibit market growth. One thing remains certain, M2M/IoT is an integral part of enterprise networks and consumer needs, requiring satellite’s ubiquity, instant infrastructure, and network simplicity advantages as part of its core.

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